Field service is a big business opportunity, but only for businesses who price their services right. Price too high, and the business run the risk of driving customers away or put up a bad review. Pricing too low could indicate poor quality of service and would definitely bring in lower returns. Field service providers, be it HVAC, landscaping or plumbing, would do well with an efficient field service software that coordinate and sync their activities. While invoicing, scheduling and time tracking are common inclusions in most field service management suites, the best suite also co-opts a pricing module. Here’s how an advanced field service software like ReachOut can help you estimate the right price while quoting a job.
The requirement for field service jobs come in various hues, such as contracts for preventative maintenance, annual maintenance contracts, repair a broken down machinery, emergency fixes, installation and more.
Regardless of the nature of the job, field service cycles start with a quote or a proposal. Customers prefer an accurate estimate of what the job will cost up front. Most customers invariably collect quotes from multiple providers and give the contract to the provider offering the best value.
Many field service providers face a hurdle with quotes. The task, being labor intensive, requires extensive calculation that takes time, meaning the provider may not be able to submit an effective put off for the customer in time.
The quote may not be comprehensive, or too vague. The client or customer may be left guessing on what exactly a line item means, or what it includes and what would cost extra.
Worse, the provider may underestimate or overestimate the work required, leading to over-quoting or under-quoting, both with equally disastrous results. The time-pressure to deliver a timely quote may lead to mistakes, which may be hard to amend for once the quote is finalized in the form of a contract.
A field service software makes the task of generating quotes simple, easy, and hassle-free. A smart field service management suite with estimating and billing components automates the process, with customization built-in.
A good quote management module allows the marketer or the admin to create new fields for new jobs or line items, populate pre-set fields with the required figures, such as rate per sq. meter, include numbers or types of machinery and other service-related specs, and also fix constants such as labor hours and equipment needed for any type of task.
The marketer, then simply needs to input the variables, such as the area to be landscaped, and the system will compute the cost, along with the pre-set the markup, the applicable taxes, and other charges. The system would generate the cost within minutes, and email the same to all the required stakeholders.
The pricing component of any decent field service software includes an analytic component, which pulls in information from the description or particulars or the nature of work, and derives the labor required, materials required, support and assistance required, and every other input cost component, to come to an accurate figure of costs.
An intuitive suite also allows importing existing items from existing databases or previous jobs, providing quotes with a high degree of accuracy, and ensuring the quotes aligns with the company’s price and profitability structure.
Related Reading: You may also like to know how a good quote management software can benefit your sales process.
Generating manual quotes is a hassle, and revising the quote, to co-opt some change required by the customer is often a time-consuming nightmare.
Many field service management works are add-ons when an existing job is done. For instance, a landscaping company may get an additional task of adding brambling vines around a newly laid rock garden. A flexible field management suite allows customizing the quote to make the necessary add-ons at any stage, and provide the client with a revised, accurate and up-to-date estimate or invoice in minutes.
With smart quote management suite, the entire process is automated and flexible. The marketer would have an easy breakdown of all individualized costs, facilitating spot decisions on discounts or add-on services when negotiating for a contract. At the customer end, a smart quote would offer drill-down, offering break-up details of each line item, and even annotations, explaining each line item.
Related Reading: Find more on how ReachOut Suite can enable efficient quote management.
What really matters is not the dollar figure in the quote, but the value on offer. However, clients have a temptation to make decisions based on the dollar figure, and for this reason, it is not enough the field service provider offers good value, but should also be seen offering good value.
A field service software allows integrating quotes and proposals to field service management. An accepted quote or proposal is instantly and automatically converted into a work order, with all line items, parts and labor hours updated accordingly. The field service technicians get details of the quote and all other relevant details from the suite, delivered to them through their mobile apps. The system schedules tasks, matching the right technician to the right task, and issues prompt, alerts and reminders to such technicians while keeping the client and other stakeholders updated in real-time as well.
A time-tracking component enables tracking, employee hours for each job, instantly, and convert the same intro billable hours. The suite identifies any overtime as well. Invoicing is also automatic, and the entire payment process effortless.
The suite, synced to inventory management tool enables monitoring supplies in real-time to ensure technicians have at their disposal the required equipment and tools to complete the project, without holdups.
A field management suite equipped with Artificial Intelligence capabilities may automatically order depleting inventory, refreshing the inventory orders based on the items required to fulfill new work orders, or even anticipates demand.
All these highly efficient processes, reduce internal costs considerably, allowing the business to offer a wide range of service, at the most competitive rates.
An AI-enabled suite may even customize the quotes and invoices for individual clients based on their preferences. For instance, a customer known to make decisions looking at the dollar figure quoted may be offered the lowest possible quote, with several optional add-on services, and the work order configured accordingly.
Contact our experts today to know how ReachOut Suite can help you out with price estimation and quote management.
Aarathy is a Senior Digital Marketing Analyst at ReachOut Suite. She is majorly into content marketing and focuses on getting the messaging right across a host of marketing collaterals. While not working on content, you can find her juggling SEO, social media, branding and more. She enjoys exploring new frontiers in digital marketing and the associated challenges keep her going.
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